The famous gurudwara-Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib is open for devotees from 1st June. Situated in laps of Himalayas at more than 15,000 feet, the gurdwara is dedicated to 10th Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh.
Lakhs of devotees are pouring in. To know what arrangements the management has made, Anurag Sason has an in-depth conversation with Mr Sewa Singh, manager Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib.
Here are important excerpts from the exclusive interview: (Scroll down to watch the complete interview)
Q1) Devotees are coming in large numbers, what arrangements management have made for them?
Sewa Singh: Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib Management Trust has established seven gurdwaras in-Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Joshimath, Govindghat, Govindam and Hemkund Sahib. In all these gurudwaras, the trust has made arrangements for stay, food and medical facilities for free for all the devotees.
Q2) On average, how many devotees visit Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib every year?
Sewa Singh: Before the 2013’s natural calamity, two to three lakh devotees used to visit here every year. But after the calamity, numbers dropped due to fear. Last year 1.85 lakh devotees paid homage. This time we are expecting that more than three lakh devotees will offer prayers at Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib.
Q3) Do foreigners also come?
Sewa Singh: There is a place called Value of Flowers near Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib where foreigners visit in large numbers.
And when they visit the valley, they also visit the shrine. Plus, there are also a large number of people who have settled abroad from Punjab. They also come to offer prayers at Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib.
Q4) What support you get from the government?
Sewa Singh: See gurudwara is mostly self-sustaining. The government provides infrastructural support like maintenance of roads.
Q5) There is also a chopper service for reaching Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib. Do you think more service providers should start the helicopter service here?
Sewa Singh: For now, one company Deccan Aviation Limited is providing the chopper services. In the future, if the number of devotees rises we may need one more service provider.
Q6) What is the major challenge you face?
Sewa Singh: Our main aim is to serve devotees and we are constantly working towards that aim.
.Q7) Do you have medical facilities in order to deal with any kind of emergency situation?
Sewa Singh: We have the best medical facility available here. Best MBBS doctors are serving here for free.
Q8) Those who visit Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib are from the Sikh community only or you witness devotees from other religions as well?
Sewa Singh: 90 percent are from the Sikh community.
Q9) Which age group of people visits Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib more- youngster, middle age or old?
Sewa Singh: We witnessed people of all age groups.
Q10) Tell us something about the opening date of Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib.
Sewa Singh: The opening date of Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib depends on the weather. If there is less snowfall we open it earlier. Normally, it opens on the 1st June every year.
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW | Monday Talk: ‘3 lakh devotees expected to visit Hemkund Sahib,’ says Sewa Singh to Anurag Sason
About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
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